Washington – The U.S. on Thursday posted 65,551 new coronavirus cases, a record for a 24-hour period, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The country, the hardest-hit in the world by the pandemic, has a total caseload of more than 3.1 million, with 133,195 deaths.
The previous daily record was Tuesday, with more than 60,200 cases in one day.
The U.S. has seen a spike in infections in recent weeks, particularly in the south and west, and health experts worry the death rate may soon follow the same trajectory.
According to the Johns Hopkins tracker on Thursday night, 1,000 people had died from COVID-19 in the U.S. in the last 24 hours.
“We’re in a very difficult, challenging period right now,” top US infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said Thursday during a teleconference organized by news outlet The Hill.
As the country began reopening, many states “jumped over the benchmarks,” Fauci said, referring to indicators of a slowing infection rate required for states to begin phasing out of lockdowns.
“I would think we need to get the states pausing in their opening process,” he said, although he added, “I don’t think we need to go back to an extreme of shutting down.”
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has openly said he disagrees with Fauci, has downplayed the spike in cases.
“For the 1/100th time, the reason we show so many Cases, compared to other countries that haven’t done nearly as well as we have, is that our TESTING is much bigger and better,” he tweeted Thursday.
“We have tested 40,000,000 people. If we did 20,000,000 instead, Cases would be half, etc.”
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